The softball team saw their incredible season come to a close on May 13 after losing to Louisiana State University, Alexandria two separate times in the NAIA Opening Round tournament.
A VALIANT FIGHT
It cannot be said that the Eagles did not fight to get to the national tournament. Biola started the season with only 14 players on their roster and after a few members of the team were injured, the Eagles called in three senior reinforcements from other Biola teams. Amanda Lillicrop from women’s soccer, Charlie Parker from volleyball and Desiree Robinson from the women’s basketball team joined the team in the latter part of the season.
The Eagles were sent to Alexandria, La. to play in the double-elimination Opening Round tournament. Biola’s first matchup was against Belhaven University of Mississippi.
ON HOLD FOR RAIN
The Eagles were up 1-0 thanks to a single from junior catcher Bria Madrid to open up the opportunity for freshman third baseman Selina Sherlin to advance to home in the second inning. Senior pitcher Reba Depriest continued to shut down any chances for Belhaven to even up the score.
The game was put on hold for three hours after the bottom of the third due to rain. Once it was cleared for the game to resume, the Eagles continued to shut down Belhaven’s offense to keep their lead. Biola had a few opportunities to stretch the lead, but did not actually accomplish it until the sixth inning for the final run of the game. DePriest once again shut down Belhaven’s hitters and advanced to the semifinal round against the host team, Alexandria.
THE SEMIFINAL STRUGGLE
The next day did not go as smoothly for the Eagles, even though things started out similar to the previous game. Once again Bria Madrid singled to bring home one of her teammates — this time her sister, senior outfielder Brooke Madrid — to give the Eagles the lead early on in the game. But the similarities between the two games stop there. Alexandria brought out the heavy hitters and took the lead from Biola in the third inning 2-1. This time it was the Eagles’ turn to struggle with leaving runners on base and Biola dropped to Alexandria 6-1.
BACK AGAINST BELHAVEN
Biola had a short time to rest before going up against Belhaven once again. Belhaven scored in the first inning to take their first and only lead on the Eagles. Biola could not tie up the score until the fourth inning, thanks to a triple from Sherlin. The RBI from Sherlin got the ball rolling, and Biola steadily pushed their lead in the sixth inning to 3-1 to secure their chance at another round with Alexandria.
In order to make it to the World Series Tournament, Biola needed to beat Alexandria twice. Unfortunately, things went south for the Eagles very quickly. Alexandria’s hits came one right after the other and the Eagles found themselves down 6-0 at the bottom of the sixth.
INABILITY TO RUN
Biola had a spark that looked to have the possibility of an improbable comeback in the bottom of the sixth. Sherlin sent a double to centerfield to bring home Lillicrop and Bria Madrid and put the Eagles down by four. Senior shortstop Sarah Stomwall got an RBI of her own narrowing the lead once again, but the team could not cultivate any more runs and saw their season come to an end with the final score at 6-3.
The Eagles finish out their season 36-20 overall and 16-8 in conference play.